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“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” ― Dogen
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Hi, <<First Name>>. I hope that you are finding both time and ease on your cushion as we welcome January.  As we enter 2022, so many of us  immediately start to look towards the fresh feelings of a new year as an opportunity to cultivate improved habits in different areas of our lives.  This practice is not bad at its core; however, let us not get so wrapped up in reflecting on how we think we should be that we miss the opportunity to also reflect on who we are and the inherent goodness we possess.  Are our resolutions tied up in comparing ourselves to others, or are they grounded in a deep knowing that we are all connected and that we have access to freedom within ourselves?  

Thich Nhat Hanh shares a beautiful metaphor of our lives as water:
"In our life as a wave, we struggle and we have fear, because we have to go up and down, to be born and die, to exist and not to exist. We can see clearly that to live the life of the wave is very difficult. But when the wave discovers it is water, then it begins to practice living as water. A wave is and is not, is up and down, is high and low, but water is utterly free. The question is: Does the wave have the ability to live its true nature as water, or must it just live as a wave? A wave can practice living its life as water."

Schedule Update: We will meet virtually all 3 sessions this month.  The Zoom meeting link and more information can be found below. 

In this month's newsletter you'll find links to online events, Tricycle Magazine's Annual January meditation challenge, Magnolia Grove Monastery's virtual meditation sessions, and additional information about SEBC.  More resources can be found on our website and Facebook.

We at SEBC affirm our commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and interconnection. If you'd like to chat, have ideas for the community, want to help, etc., please let us know - we'd love to hear from you! And if you haven't joined us in a while (or ever), we'd love to see you (feel free to attend meetings as regularly or as infrequently as you'd like)! May we stand stronger as Beloved Community through our Dharma practice and understanding, and in our larger society as a whole. Let's keep the Dharma wheel turning!

Much metta and wishes for a happy New Year,
Your friends at SEBC
 
Meditation Schedule 
The Zoom link for both January sessions is below. Please note, when joining the meeting, you may need to manually enter the meeting ID and password – the direct link sometimes creates issues. Our recommendation is to have the video on whenever possible, to allow a greater degree of connection during the meetings.  OPEN TO ALL & FREE TO ATTEND!!

* Virtual: Wednesday, January 5th, 7 - 8pm
* Virtual: Wednesday, January 12th, 7 - 8pm
* Virtual: Sunday, January 16th, 4 - 5pm

Same link (ID/password) for both Wednesday January sessions:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84254120835?pwd=T0VPTDZhWjZxQ2tKdGtDSkNtRkRXQT09

Meeting ID: 842 5412 0835
Passcode: 060259

Sunday January session: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87693798915?pwd=VjdmMStQQkEzVDhtdzNKNHdIWkJQQT09https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87693798915?pwd=VjdmMStQQkEzVDhtdzNKNHdIWkJQQT09

Meeting ID: 876 9379 8915
Passcode: 455185
ALL levels of meditators are welcome to attend, including those with no previous experience; however, we encourage people to “bring your own practice.”  We're a practice group of fellow travelers, not teachers. 

Note: Click here for more info on our Wednesday meditation sessions.

Other Online Events & Resources

* Tricycle Magazine's Annual Meditation Challenge - A free resource to help you commit to a daily practice throughout January

* Magnolia Grove Monastery Virtual Meditation Calendar - More opportunities to practice via Zoom with a welcoming group of meditation practitioners

* Socially Engaged Buddhism (SEBC) - "We encourage you to visit our resource list on Socially Engaged Buddhism and we invite your participation, perspectives, and solidarity, as together we undertake the hard work necessary for transformation." 

* Dharma Seed - "an online resource dedicated to making the Buddhist teachings of Insight Meditation and associated practices available to all. Our intention is to be a support for meditation teachers, their communities, students and meditation practitioners, and to provide access to the teachings to those who might not otherwise have access to them."

* Southern Dharma Retreat Center, Hot Springs, NC - "For more than 40 years, Southern Dharma Retreat Center (SDRC) has offered affordable, teacher-led retreats with a unifying thread of meditation, contemplation, and silence. SDRC continues its tradition of excellence as the preeminent meditation retreat center in the southeast and is historically ranked top 10 nationally."

* Atlanta Buddhism.org - "Due to the Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19), all people are encouraged to stay home whenever possible, and help stop the spread. We have compiled this list of groups that are now meeting virtually." 
Monthly Article: Starting Over, Again

 – "And that’s what this time of year is. It is the world going back to one, and reminding us that we too can do the same. It’s a chance for us to let everything go, and begin again—and not just on December 21st or January 1st, but on any given day, in any given moment."
 – "But maybe the real truth is that we shouldn’t be stressing so much about this idea of starting over. After all, the great origin—ground zero, one—is never far. It accompanies us always, a present moment of stillness that is the very path we are walking, whether we realize it or not."
 

~From Starting Over Again by Taylor Plimpton
 
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